Server Configuration Management: Chef saves operations engineers time and money by making sure that every system in a given environment is built and maintained exactly as it needs to be, in a fully automated fashion – every package is installed, file written, service turned on etc.
CHALLENGE:It employs a modest IT staff to manage all of the institution's computer services including an enterprise resource planner (ERP) system that provides resource scheduling, housing data, grades, university payroll and other services across the university. As the university continued to grow, its infrastructure became more complex with a mix of Linux and Windows machines, virtualized infrastructure, computational research, database and web server systems, the ERP system and a variety of vendor-supplied embedded appliances.Marshall needed a solution to help automate and simplify management of its systems.RESULTS:Ability to quickly and easily automate 200 servers.Accurate and repeatable configuration and automation.Increased agility and reliability to efficiently manage platform configuration.Ability to contribute to the Opscode community of developers.
CHALLENGE:The IT staff supports more than 300 servers and 200TB of storage powering sophisticated web-based research applications, mission-critical student tools, compute clusters, and more - with only five system administrators who need to ensure that servers are continually configured, monitored and managedThis monumental task could only be accomplished with an intelligent automation solution capable of streamlining configuration management and creating a scalable model for continued growth.SOLUTION:The University of Minnesota's College of Liberal Arts deployed Hosted Chef™ across its VMware-based virtualized infrastructure to automate configuration and environment management and ensure resource consistency for student-facing applicationsRESULTS:Enable model of reuse for continued growth, including an additional 100 servers in 2012Eliminate risk of human error in resource configuration management, ensuring a highly consistent and reliable infrastructure for student-facing applicationsImprove team communication, planning and strategy with accurate resource monitoring and usage data
Automation for EducationBuilding an Empowered IT OrganizationMay 2013
Automation for EducationA discussion on Chef and empowering IT in higher educationSanjay ModiTechnical DirectorThe Wharton School @ U PennBryan HaleVP, Online ServicesOpscodeChris McClimansSolution Architect @ OpscodeFmr IT Director, Texas Tech U
Agenda• Challenges Facing Higher Ed IT• Introduction to Chef• Case Study – Wharton’s Empowered IT Team• Q&A
Education IT Challenges1. Do more with less. Manage an increasing (and increasingly complex) set ofenvironments, systems and applications2. Become empowered. Say yes to new projects such as onlineinitiatives, public and private cloud adoption etcToday, University technology teams are being required to…
Education IT Challenges1. Do more with less. Manage an increasing (and increasingly complex) set ofenvironments, systems and applications2. Become empowered. Say yes to new projects such as onlineinitiatives, public and private cloud adoption etcToday, University technology teams are being required to……and still deliver first class services with high availability!!!
Opscode is the Company Behind ChefRecipes and Cookbooksthat describe and deliver code.Chef enables people to easily build &manage complex & dynamic applicationsat massive scale• Configuration management• Cloud management• Continuous deliveryChef is a software delivery platform for developers & systems engineers to continuouslydefine, build, and manage infrastructure.CHEF USES:
Community OverviewThe Chef Community25,000+ CommunityMembers900+ CommunityCookbooks250,000+ CookbookDownloads400+ Public TrainingAttendees in the last year30 Local User GroupsOver 200 Corporate Contributors
How Chef Works1. Workstation, from which Chef usersbuild and apply configurations2. Chef Server – Stores infrastructure-wide data and distributes cookbooks3. Chef Clients – Subscribe toconfigurations, enforce desired state
Chef Provides a Model for Reuse That Works900+Cookbooks“Yesterday we started open sourcing some ofour Opscode Chef work created atbestbuy.com; bit.ly/yDV9Hl #Splunk #opschef”
Two Chef Use Cases for Education IT1. Configuration Management. Automatically build and manage servers -- from internal ERP systems, to DNS, email, web applications, researchenvironments etc2. Cloud Management. Harness the scale and responsiveness of yourpublic or private cloud environments. Build/re-build across clouds.
1. Configuration Management• Assign roles to new servers and let Cheftake care of the rest• Chef’s discovery agent indexes environmentdata in real-time and makes it available forsearch• Manage Windows, Linux, Solaris from thesame set of re-usable infrastructurecookbooks“Chef automates complex tasks that are otherwise time and resource intensive, but more importantly itallows us to focus our efforts on innovating and improving the quality of our services”Sanjay Modi, Technical Director at Wharton School, University of PennsylvaniaManage and Automate Complex IT Infrastructure
2. Cloud ManagementPre-built integrations for…To deliver such a multi-faceted service, our infrastructure needs to be able to adapt at a momentsnotice. Amazon EC2 gives us the resources we need, but to ensure consistency and maximumflexibility, we had to automate with Chef.Ashley Streb, Vice President of Technology at BrightcoveManage and Scale Public, Private, and Hybrid Cloud InfrastructureProvision, Configure and Deploy From Chef
BackgroundChallengeSolutionChef Case Study - Marshall University• Marshall University is West Virginia’s second largest public university. It employs a modest IT staff tomanage all of the institution’s computer services.• Managing a complex mixed infrastructure with a need to quickly automate andsimplify management of its systems• Increase agility and reliability to efficiently manage platform configuration• Marshall University selected Chef to provide it with significant infrastructure automation, configurationmanagement, speed, IT agility and systems recovery• Deploying Chef dramatically reduced the team’s systems management time, allowing them to concentrateon innovating with confidence that its infrastructure was running smoothly.From bare metal to a fully configuredsystem, deployment with Chef only took 15minutes, instead of weeks or months if we were tobuild it by hand.-Eric Wolfe, Senior Linux Administrator
BackgroundChallengeSolutionChef Case Study - University of Minnesota• One of the nation’s largest schools, the University of Minnesota supports the tech needs of 20,000students with five IT admins• Supporting more than 300 servers and 200TB of storage with a small teamthat needs to ensure that servers are continually configured, monitored andmanaged• Streamlining configuration management and creating a scalable model forcontinued growth• With Chef, the university now has a robust infrastructure automation engine that makes it easy for theCollege’s IT team to configure, replicate and provision servers or entire environments• The College can now manage its infrastructure with a few simple lines of code, eliminating the risk ofhuman error and ensuring resource consistency for student-facing applications• Enable model of reuse for continued growth, including an additional 100 serversHosted Chef has made it easy to configureonce, then replicate many times over, saving ussignificant amounts of time.-Kemal Badur, Research Computing &Engineering Coordinator
Chef Case Study – The Wharton SchoolBackground• Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University ofPennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation.• Wharton’s technology team focused on Chef across three functional areas1. Core IT Services2. Wharton Research Data Services3. Knowledge @ Wharton
Chef Case Study – The Wharton School• Team of operations engineers maintaining hundreds of servers primarily for “core services”• The manual effort required to maintain this legacy infrastructure starved new initiatives…ChallengePrior to working with Opscode Chef…“One major reason for the difficulty of managing innovation is thecomplexity of managing the resource allocation process…those(initiatives) given lower priority, whether formally or de facto, willstarve for lack of resources and have little chance of success.”
Chef Case Study – The Wharton School1.Apply automated configuration management to core IT services free up resources for innovation2.Utilize public IaaS for new initiatives quicker time to market, lower up front cost3.Apply devops practices to dev/test environments prototype new services rapidlySolutionEmpowering an IT organization in three steps…